ShowerStick Frequently Asked Questions
You should replace the KDF filter yearly (if 2 people are showering daily for 10 minutes each) or more often if you smell the presence of chlorine. It has nothing to do with softening the water but it does a great job filtering chlorine, microorganisms (mold, algae, fungi, bacteria) and heavy metals (lead, mercury, nickel and chromium). This is great for you and also for the resin since it’s being protected from these contaminants which ensures it performs well and has a long life.
No! These filters mainly remove chlorine, heavy metals, and microorganisms. They do not remove calcium or magnesium (hard water minerals). Hard water minerals irritate your skin and dry your skin & scalp the most. They can only be inexpensively removed with a water softener such as our salt regenerated resin based ShowerStick. (If you use a hard water test kit on the water coming from a ‘filter’ you will see that it will not test as soft.)
Yes, it uses the same resin beads and technology (“ion exchange”) as any salt based water softener and provides the same quality soft water for your shower as any softener can.
We only sell wholesale direct to you via our website.
If you drank an 8 oz. glass of softened water you’d consume approximately 12.5 mg of sodium (approx. 200 mg per gallon). By comparison, 1 Alka Seltzer tablet contains 445 mg of sodium and one can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup contains about 2225 mg of sodium. However, you aren’t using the water from the ShowerStick as your drinking water. Therefore, only very trace amounts of sodium seep into your skin when showering in softened water.
We recommend using the shower head that comes with the ShowerStick because it doesn’t have any switches (on/off, massage, etc) which can sometimes create a back pressure issue. What this means is that when you put the shower head on the floor of the shower to regenerate, some shower heads with switches or massagers won’t allow all of the water to flow out of the ShowerStick in order for you to then be able to pour all of the salt water inside. You can try a different shower head to see if it will work. Remove the regeneration port cap then lay the shower head on the floor and see if the water drains at a steady pace without any resistance (takes about 2 minutes). Then pour your salt solution inside to regenerate. If when you are slowly pouring the salt water inside it starts to back up and not let you pour it in at a steady pace as it flows out the shower head, then you know you either need to use the shower head that came with the ShowerStick or remove yours each time you regenerate.
The first thing you should do is regenerate. Then turn the water on and let it run for 30-60 seconds to drain out most of the salt. Keep as much water inside your ShowerStick as possible when removing it from your shower so the resin stays moist. All 3 openings need to be sealed to ensure air doesn’t get inside with the resin to dry it out and kill it. Also, be sure to store the ShowerStick somewhere where it won’t freeze.
There are 2 ways you can prepare your ShowerStick for storage:
- Remove the ShowerStick from your shower but keep the hose attached at the bottom. Remove the shower head from the other end of the hose and attach the hose to the nipple fitting at the top of the ShowerStick. Keep the regeneration port cap attached. -OR-
- Purchase 1/2 inch caps from your local hardware store and attach them to the nipple fittings on each end of the ShowerStick (the cap on the regeneration port is ¾”). Keep the regeneration port cap attached.
When you return, backwash the resin then regenerate. Backwashing instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.
Water softening salt is a coarse grain salt that usually comes in chips or pellets and contains dirt and sediment. This type of salt is made for whole house water softening systems. These systems are capable of breaking down the chips or pellets into a fine grain and they have a filter to get rid of the dirt and sediment. Since the ShowerStick doesn’t have a built in system to do this, a granulated (fine grain) salt such as iodized or plain table salt should be used when regenerating. The chunks or pellets won’t dissolve in your water bottle so the resin inside the ShowerStick won’t get enough salt to properly regenerate. And you definitely don’t want to get the pellets inside the ShowerStick because they will sit inside the resin bed and the dirt and sediment from this type of salt will eventually destroy the resin.
Chloramines are a combination of ammonia with chlorine. Chlorine isn’t a problem for a filter to remove (our KDF filter does this) but for the combination of the two to be removed you’d have to have a very large amount of media (much larger than would fit inside a shower filter) and the water would have to stay in contact with the media for a long period of time. If there is a shower filter out there that claims to remove chloramines, most likely it’s a very tiny percentage which would hardly make a difference. According to the chloramine.org FACTS page, "There is NO certified showerhead filter to remove chloramine".
Yes, if you have a 1/2” American standard thread pipe coming out of your wall (protrudes about 4” when installed) and it needs to be securely fastened behind the wall.
If your water supply gets turned off for maintenance, repairs, etc., you should remove your ShowerStick before the water is turned back on. When the water is turned back on, turn on all faucets including the one in your shower and leave them on until the water runs clear. When the water is turned back on, it comes through in a high pressure spray and any dirt and sediment in the plumbing system can break free and cause clogs/blockages in your fixtures including the ShowerStick. The full assembly of the ShowerStick should be removed all the way up to your shower arm pipe. If you weren’t able to remove the ShowerStick assembly prior to the water being turned back on and you’re having an issue with the water pressure, try the following. Clean out your shower head, hose, mount and backwash the KDF filter (if installed) in order to clean out any blockages. If you’re still experiencing issues, you may need to backwash the resin inside your ShowerStick. Backwashing instructions can be found at the bottom of this page.
Although the ShowerStick costs more to purchase initially than a shower filter, it costs a lot less in the long run. Think about how much you spend yearly on shower filters and multiply that number by 10. Ten years is the average lifespan of the ShowerStick, so it ends up costing far less over a 10-year period and it does so much more than a filter. It also contains more than 10 times the amount of material than what’s inside a shower filter. And, included with the ShowerStick is a handheld shower head and hose, a shower arm mount (the cradle that holds the head) and a hard water test kit.
We decided to post this Q&A because we’ve been asked this question countless times by people who have become frustrated after spending a lot of money on various shower filters that don’t give them the results they’re looking for. To soften water, you need to use a large volume of resin, much larger than would ever fit inside a filter the size of your hand. Even if resin was ever put inside a filter cartridge, it would be such a small amount that it would only soften the water for a few minutes then it would never soften water again since you wouldn’t be able to regenerate it. Many people have been misled because when some of these companies set up their listings they include keywords or phrases such as “soft water”, “soft water effects”, “soft skin”, etc. and you’ll end up on their site or listing thinking that’s what their product does. But it doesn’t. And many people aren’t aware of what soft water really is or that filters don’t in any way soften water or that there’s more to improving your water quality other than just filtering it. Unfortunately, there are companies who take advantage of people and aren’t always truthful regarding what their product can do (and some of them don’t really understand what the product they’re selling does). They want to sell their product plain and simple. You can challenge them and ask, “If I use a hardness test with your filter, will it show it’s removing hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium?” If their response is “yes” and you take a chance and buy it but find out otherwise, will they pay for return shipping if you decide to return it (which could be expensive international shipping) if their posted return policy says they won’t? Even the largest internet retail company in the world (no need to mention their name) won’t do anything about the companies who sell on their site and falsely advertise what their product can do. (This company doesn’t even require their sellers to show where their products are being shipped from.) So, it’s hard to know who to trust and what information (especially on the internet) is true or accurate. But we as consumers must do the best we can to do research and educate ourselves prior to making purchases and we need to do what we can to be sure a company is legitimate. Otherwise, we may end up getting ripped off. Luckily there are companies that exist who really care about helping people and giving honest and accurate information, and we are one of them. We will always answer your questions thoroughly and give you examples or information to backup what we’re saying. For example, if you aren’t convinced that a shower filter isn’t capable of softening water, we’d let you know that you can use any hard water test kit and it will show no difference in the hardness of water after you add a filter. Only a softener can do so. And only if it’s a softener that’s regenerated with salt water (works via Ion Exchange). Two ways to soften the water in a shower: install a whole house water softener or a portable shower water softener, like the ShowerStick: ShowerStick
- We also sell our products on eBay and you can see how long we’ve been selling them (since 2004), how many feedback postings we’ve received (over 600) and that we have 100% positive feedback. We started out selling on eBay and have continued to do so mainly so people can see all the wonderful feedback we’ve received from our customers over the years.
- We’ve obtained an SSL certificate so that our website is secure. Instead of “http” as you’ll see with some other website addresses, you’ll see “https” in our website address line (https://watersticks.com/).
- Our email address and phone number are legitimate which you can easily verify.
(Note: Backwashing can only be done if you purchased your ShowerStick after July 2011 and have a filter basket glued inside (you can see it if you look down inside the regeneration port opening) to keep the resin from coming out. Contact us if you aren’t sure.)
In order to clean out and loosen up the resin, you can backwash it. To do this, remove the ShowerStick body and take it outside to a hose (keep the cap on the regeneration port). Don’t turn the water on too high pressure because you don’t want the filter baskets at either end of the ShowerStick that hold the resin inside to break. Force water through the ShowerStick body backwards (up through the bottom and out through the top) and shake up the resin inside. Continue to do this until you are able to get a strong stream of water to go through and until the resin feels like it has loosened up (for at least 10 minutes but the longer you can do it the better). You won’t be able to get the hose to fit around the threaded fitting at the bottom of the ShowerStick but you can hold it up to it the best you can to get the water to go inside. Then hook the ShowerStick back up in your shower and regenerate.
(Note: If you don’t have a hose outside to use, you can backwash the resin from inside your shower by removing all parts of the assembly (KDF filter (if purchased), angle connector (or offset connector if purchased) and remove the shower head from the hose) but leave the shower arm mount attached to the shower pipe, and leave the hose attached to the bottom of the ShowerStick body. With each end of the ShowerStick body in your hands, shake up the resin inside to loosen it up. Hold the ShowerStick body upside down (leave the hose attached at the bottom) and attach the loose end (the end that had the shower head attached) of the hose to the shower arm mount (be sure the black rubber washer is still inside the end of the hose). Run water through slowly at first (to make sure everything is attached good and water isn’t leaking anywhere) then turn the water pressure up so the resin gets thoroughly washed. Backwash (flush) the resin for at least 10 minutes. When finished, shake up the resin inside as good as you can then hook the ShowerStick back up and regenerate.)
It’s a good idea to backwash the resin every 6-12 months to keep it clean and loose inside the ShowerStick so it’s able to do the best job it can to soften your water.
*Note: After backwashing, be sure to re-apply plumbers tape to the male fitting at the top of the ShowerStick body (wrap clockwise about 3 times around) before re-attaching to the KDF filter (if purchased) or to the angle connector and re-apply plumbers tape to the male fitting on the KDF filter (if purchased) to ensure everything will be sealed good and won’t leak. Also, remember to hand tighten all parts barely snug without using tools as over-tightening will cause the fittings to break off.
*Note: If you have well water or a high amount of iron in your water, you should backwash more frequently (every 3-6 months).
Possible causes for needing to backwash the resin more often than recommended: Using coarse grain (vs. granulated) salt to regenerate, long periods of not using the ShowerStick, pouring salt directly inside without it being dissolved in water, having low water pressure, long periods of time between regenerating, having corrosion issues with the pipes in a house or apartment which causes particulates and ferrous metal flakes to enter the ShowerStick and come into contact with the resin, or just from having a lot of contaminants in your water (replacing the KDF filter yearly or having a whole house filtration system will help with this).